In successful Western economies such as Australia, we are both mentally and physically exhausted. Our brains becoming increasingly foggier. Have you heard of brain fog? Brain fog is a situation where you struggle to stay attentive, trouble concentrating, stumbling over the perfect word. A lot of the time it’s a fact of life in the hectic and dizzying world we live in. Brain fog is not a medical condition but lifestyle changes can help – diet, sleep, reduction of stress levels, and finding better ways to rest and relax.
During any particular working day we are faced with complexities of technology and business systems, connectivity and information overload, increased administration and compliance, declining or outdated skillsets and skill shortages, management, financial pressures-declining margins, commoditisation, the list goes on. Couple this with the pressures at home and family commitments, – it is no wonder we are feeling overwhelmed.
When we think about it, a full time worker in Australia spends on average 44.9hours (ABS, 2017) a week or 8.98hours in a five day working week in the workplace. This equates to twenty three percent (23%) of our “awake” working life (44 years)1 spent at work. How many of us switch off after work or never plan or think about the working day ahead whilst they are driving in the traffic congested cities. If you add two hours travelling per day and your brain in ‘work mode’, this figure increases to almost thirty percent (30%).
So we look to anyone or anything that will ease the burden – to be our saviour, to save us from this hardship. Reaching simplicity in today’s world, has become innately connected to our psyche.
Many organisations have implemented wellness programs to assist their employees to better deal with these burdens. But are the participation rates that high that all employees are involved. Can organisations sustain the financial investment and can employee’s stay committed for the long haul with these programs? Has the return been measured? Is it easily measurable? Organisations have also introduced work-life balance allowing employees to work from home. Is there empirical evidence to suggest these have assisted?
These initiatives or programs simply address the ‘effects’ and not the ‘cause’ or the root causes.
We have all heard the saying “Prevention is the best cure!” Yet what programs exist in today’s organisations that focus on prevention. Over the last several years, the growing focus on workplace culture, of which the introduction of work/life balance and wellness has certainly been an element of; has certainly assisted but organisations can have great workplace cultures but the work processes and procedures are complex and elaborate, they can possess burdensome administration tasks, work clutter and unproductiveness still exists. The opportunity to simplify can lie both in simplifying the work environment and in simplifying the work itself.
Simplification is not the only answer of course, but it is certainly one that we have more control over than most. So let’s do this! Let’s introduce a new program designed to focus on the cause.
A simplification program
“Simplification is one of the most important and underutilised tools in our organisations” (Deloitte, 2015)
So employees ask your manager what is their simplification program? Managers talk to your employees about implementing a simplification program and see what reactions you receive. We can assure managers that the moment you say the word ‘simplify’ to your employees– you have the employee’s attention and engagement. Together, we can explore and implement a pathway that makes our 30% of our awake time simpler.
Whether you are an employee or a manager, why don’t you consider calling one of our Zymplifiarians to learn more about our simplification programs?
1 based on commencing in the workplace at twenty-one and retirement age of sixty five and achieving eight hours sleep per night.